Manchester United are bookmakers favourites to sign James Rodriguez this summer.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder, who can also play in the wide areas, has been a standout performer at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. He already has two goals to his name for Group C leaders Colombia, and will be hoping for more in the knockout stages.
His performances have pushed the Red Devils closer to a move, in the eyes of the bookies at least, with the former Premier League champions now 3/1 with SkyBet to bring the player to Old Trafford before September 2nd. Spurs are next in the market (5/1), with Valencia (12/1), Arsenal and Napoli (both 14/1) also credited with an interest.
Rodriguez has been linked with a move to Manchester United before the World Cup, with former boss David Moyes chasing the player last summer. And, just a couple of weeks ago, they were again linked with a move.
The Daily Express claimed that the AS Monaco star wants to test himself in England - offering hope to the interested parties. However, the former Porto sensation won’t come cheap, with the side from the French principality looking to recoup more than the £35m they paid for him last summer.
Rodriguez started his career at Envigado in his homeland, but was quickly snapped up by Argentine outfit Banfield after just a season in professional football. He spent two seasons in Buenos Aires before moving to Europe - and more specifically the Portuguese Primera Liga.
His first year with the Estádio do Dragão was about steady integration into the first team, and in the two campaigns that followed he became a more prominent figure in a side that won back-to-back domestic titles. His performances were enough to persuade Claudio Ranieiri to spend big on bringing him to France.
However, ‘the tinkerman’ is no longer at the club’s helm, and Rodriguez is reportedly not a fan of new boss Leonardo Jardim. That could explain why the odds have dropped on Manchester United landing the player this summer.
VAN GAAL OPTIMISM
New boss Louis van Gaal has taken over a club struggling to find a new identity following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, and his shoes were too big for Moyes to fill. There is much greater hope that the current Dutch coach will be able to do a better job when he arrives at Manchester United.
Van Gaal is sure to have a number of targets in mind, and it remains to be seen whether Rodriguez is one of the players on the Red Devils shortlist. There is little doubt that he has the talent to succeed at the club, but the stumbling block might be the price.
Given that Monaco paid a heavy price for his services last summer, Manchester United would need to do the same once again this time around. If the new boss wants to make a splash in the transfer market, then Rodriguez could be the man.
A FANTASTIC PURCHASE
He’s quick, has an eye for a pass as well as goal, and most importantly has plenty of years ahead of him. He would be a fantastic purchase for the Manchester United of the future.